43%

of women in urban areas in India do not have access to sanitary pads. The figure is much higher in villages

(Oct 2017 Survey)

62%

of women in the age group 15-24 years rely on a cloth during periods

(National Family Health Survey, 2016)

87%

of girls don’t know about menstruation before their first period

(National Family Health Survey, 2016)

66%

of girl schools in India do not have functioning toilets 

(National Family Health Survey, 2016)

TABOO AND STIGMA

Menstruation is a natural and globally shared experience among all women.

Yet, menstruation is also a globally stigmatized issue. It is a topic that people are constantly embarrassed to talk about, a topic that is only whispered about behind closed doors in most cultures and people all over the world have developed harmful, even destructive, ideas and beliefs about menstruation.

As a direct result of the persistent menstrual taboo, there is a critical lack of health education resources available to young women (and men) about the menstrual cycle in developing countries. It is this lack of knowledge that perpetuates myths that isolate and shame women during their monthly cycles.

Worldwide Menstruation Taboos

INDIA
INDIA

TABOO: Women are impure during their periods and aren't allowed to enter the kitchen or temples. 

TABOO: Women can't use the same water facilities as the general community from fear of contamination!

EAST ASIA
AFRICA

TABOO: In some parts, women can't enter homes,  animal pens, living areas, nor cook food for fear of contamination.

TABOO: In some countries, women are forced to sleep outside or in special huts for the duration of their period.

SOUTH AMERICA

TABOO: In Islamic countries, women are not allowed to pray, touch the Quran, or cook food during their period.

MIDDLE-EAST

A WORLDWIDE ECONOMIC AND HEALTH HAZARD

Menstruation continues to inhibit women's participation in school, work and social activities. In many surveys around the world, almost a quarter said that had "missed school, work and event" because they were in their period.

 

Poor menstrual hygiene not only affects physical health, but also social and mental well being, thus is a violation of the human right to health (MensutualHygieneDay.org)

 

"The price of poor menstrual hygiene can be devastating, even deadly. It is linked to high rates of cervical cancer in India; in developing countries, infections caused by use of filthy, unwashed rags are rampant". (TIME Magazine, 2015).

48%

of Iranian girls think that menstruation is a disease.

(United Nations study)

20%

of the school days missed by girls due to their periods in many countries in Asia and Africa

(World Bank Report, cited in 2010)

95%

of girls in Ghana sometime miss school during their period. The figure is 86% in Garissa.

(House, Mahon and Cavill, 2012)

90%

of women in Pakistan experience pain during menstruation due to negative attitude and lack of information.

(Aflaq & Jami, 2012)